This is for all you idealists who want to change the world. You have great ideas for an awesome green start-up. You have laid awake at night thinking about how your company will make a difference. And you’ve probably figured out by now that a dream and a dollar won’t get you far. You are going to need LOTS of dollars, a business plan, capital, support and know-how to set your dream in motion. Enter green startup accelerators.
Accelerators give companies a boost. It’s like a shot in the arm providing guidance and even funding at times. It is typically a short program, good for getting a start-up off the ground or for launching a special project. Check out these five green startup accelerators.
With a mission to “unleash next generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems,” Echoing Green accelerates start-ups that want to change the world. They invest in organizations that think big and think bold, social entrepreneurs who are looking for high impact solutions to the world’s biggest problems. According to the accelerator’s site, it’s launched 600 social entrepreneurs in 40 countries with more than $33 million in funding, support services and access to its “network of champions.”
One of the big dogs in green accelerators, GoodCompany Ventures seeks for-profit startups that have positive social impacts, including efforts to tackle some of the most difficult global challenges. It has worked with some of the most innovative up-and-coming green businesses in the country like Shift_Design. According to its website, it has raised $40.1 million.
This accelerator for green start-ups provides support and funding to companies that are working to create scalable solutions to some of the most challenging problems. According to its site, it makes initial investments from $25,000 to $200,000. Its strong focus on the use of technology to achieve those goals puts them in a tech-slash-green accelerator category. Its latest venture, partnering with Good Capital’s Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, invests in early stage, fledgling companies that have a “technology for good” attitude.
The four-prong approach that this program uses helps young businesses get good starts and build solid foundations. Each prong — mentorship, peer community, access to capital and hands-on support — is designed to provide green entrepreneurs with the skills and tools they need to launch and grow either a business or a nonprofit with a particular slant to solve a social problem.
Green start-up accelerators are popping up everywhere as more companies are realizing that the problems our world is facing today can be solved by visionaries and idealists who truly believe that they can make the world a better place – they just need a leg up.